Qatar Railways Company (QRC) has awarded five contracts worth QR1.48bn ($406.5m) to start the first phase of the country's integrated railway project.
The QRC development will involve construction of a metro system, a long-distance passenger network and a freight transport network.
Work on the first phase will include a new 129km track, featuring Red, Green and Gold lines that will link Al Khor in the north of Qatar down to Al Wakrah and Mesaieed in the south.
Phase 1a, scheduled to begin construction in the first quarter of 2013, will include four lines totalling 75km with 26 stations, as well as 56km of underground lines in single bore tunnels, 17km on viaduct and 5.3km at grade.
Primarily designed to cater for the increased population in Doha, the Red line is expected to transport the majority of traffic, as well as link a number of stadiums that are set to be used at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Phase one of the project is scheduled to be complete by October 2019, with the second phase of construction expected to begin shortly after.
Out of the total amount, QAR1.14bn ($313.1m) was awarded to three companies for engineering consulting and project management, including Jacobs Engineering Group for the Red Line, a consortium of Louis Berger and Egis Rail for the Gold Line, and Hill International for the Green Line.
An enabling works contract worth QAR288m ($79m) was awarded to PORR-SBG-HBK Group, a division of Qatari firm HBK Contracting, while UK-based Lloyd's Register secured the fifth contract for independent safety assessment, worth QAR55m ($15m).
QRC is also managing Lusail City's light-rail transit system, which is expected to be open in August 2016.